Balan Vijayarahavan Pillai
Interview with  Balan V Pillai

"We are what we are because of our experience. Without it (The Good & the Bad) one cannot be complete."

Balan V Pillai
Global Business Development Director / COO
Fortune Group / PT Primeco Group
Singapore

Masters in Supply Chain and Logistics Management Batch 2021

Please tell us something about yourself, your family and your interests.

I am a fourth-generation Shipping Depot Operator with a Trading Oriented Background. I am married with two kids. My wife helps me with my work as Associate Business Development Director, my son is an executive in a Fintech Firm and my daughter is studying Political Science & Economics at SMU.

I have been involved in the strategic development of businesses covering trade financing, supply chain solutions, container freight station depot, warehousing material management, and transportation for over 30 years. I advocate the commercial entries of commodity and steel trading, as well as providing telecommunications, transmission (power sector), and electronics supplies to enhance the procurement arm of a logistics and value-chain business strategy.

I have represented Singapore in Tennis while in my teens in college, Singapore Armed Forces when I did my national service, and my college and district in Australia while I was studying for my matriculation there. In primary and secondary school, I have represented my country in Swimming and Badminton. Nowadays, I play tennis socially, swim, and cycle around Singapore to keep fit.

My passion and hobbies are Reading, Cycling, Swimming, Chinese Tea Culture, and Learning as much as I can.

What drew you to the program you are studying at Athena? Is it living up to your expectations?

The Covid-19 Pandemic has placed restrictions on travel and most of my job is traveling as the Global Business Development Director and COO. Most projects are halted now. This is the best time for me to increase my academic qualifications which I did not have the time to do before. 

Let me go through this course and then I will evaluate and know whether it fulfills my expectations. I am sure it would be adequate.

What would you like to learn next? What are your next career steps?

Learning is a constant process, one can never ever learn enough. I will try and continue to learn as much as I can to progress to the best of my ability in my current career path or another.

Tell us about a couple of your achievements that have been particularly rewarding.

Completing WN4 Reliance Supply of 5714 Telecommunication Towers Project - 350,000 MT of Galvanised Steel from China to India.
Securing Maersk line Contract as Main Dry Box Container Depot for Singapore.
Power, Tank Farm, Rail, Smart City Infrastructure Projects.

What acquired skill have you always wanted to learn?

Better understanding of Global Logistics and Financial - Disruption Models.

If you could go back in time, what time would you go to?

I do not wish to go back in time at all. Absolutely nothing - we are what we are because of our experience. Without it (The Good & the Bad), one cannot be complete.

Any person, living or dead, you would like to have dinner with?

Warren Buffet, American investor, business tycoon, philanthropist, and the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is considered one of the most successful investors in the world.

Which fictional character would you like to meet?

Doctor Strange, a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? How has it changed your life?

Albus Dumbledore, a fictional character from the Harry Potter series who says, “It's our Choices that show us what we truly are far more than our Abilities”. Everything comes down to Choices in life. When it’s bad, the question is how will you pick yourself up? Again, the ‘Choice’ is ultimately yours and yours alone.

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